“DAISY BATES: FIRST LADY OF LITTLE ROCK” SCREENING AT METROPOLITAN AME CHURCH ON SUNDAY, MAY 6, 2012 AT 2:00 PM
April 24, 2012, Washington, DC – “Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock,” a widely-acclaimed documentary film will be shown on Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m. at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, 1518 M Street, N.W. Following the screening, a panel featuring Ernest Green, a member of the Little Rock Nine, Ellen Fizer, whose father ministered to members of the Little Rock Nine, and filmmaker Sharon LaCruise, will offer firsthand accounts and respond to audience questions facilitated by award-winning journalist, Dorothy Gilliam. The film presentation is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the NEA garage across the street from the church.
The documentary, which premiered on PBS’ Independent Lens series earlier this year, tells the story of Daisy Bates, a fearless fighter for justice who earned her place in American history and became a household name during the height of the civil rights era. She is more commonly referred to as “Mrs. Daisy Bates and The Little Rock Nine” for courageously leading the integration of the all-white Central High School in Arkansas in 1957. Her public support culminated in a constitutional crisis — pitting a president against a governor and a community against itself. It took the presence of the National Guard, with protective assistance from President Eisenhower, to usher the nine black students into Central High School.
As both protector of the nine students who were on the front lines of the school desegregation battle and president of the Arkansas chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Daisy Bates achieved instant but fleeting fame. The documentary candidly explores and resolves questions concerning her place in history: What motivated Daisy Bates? What does her story tell us about the place of feminism in the civil rights movement? After all she did, why was Daisy Bates never fully embraced, even within the Little Rock community?
La Cruise’s film connects Bates to many of the well-known female civil rights activists who followed in her footsteps: Gloria Richardson Dandridge, Diane Nash, and Angela Davis. In telling the story of a woman who paved the way for others to take a stand, the film fills in a gap in the story of hundreds of women in the Civil Rights Movement, both past and present, whose contributions continue to be overlooked. The film illustrates how Daisy Bates’ long and lonely journey, full of triumphs and defeats, parallels the ongoing struggle of generations of African Americans who challenged America to live up to what it has claimed to be for more than 200 years.
This public service program is presented by Metropolitan’s Women’s Season 2012 Committee, Public Relations Commission, and Church School in partnership with the Daniel Alexander Payne Community Development Corporation. Reverend Ronald E. Braxton, D.Min. is Senior Pastor of Metropolitan A.M.E Church.
For more information, visit the church website at metropolitanamec.org or call 202.331.1426.
Tags: Daisy Bates, Taste and Talk